ACUNS Conference Report, International Networks, 12/11/2012 by Lukas Putz Dr. Michael PLATZER, Representative Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Vienna Liaison Office, opened the session by emphasizing the importance of international networks in a globalized world. On behalf of ACUNS he welcomed the panelists and thanked them for their conference participation. Peter COLGAN, Office of Nuclear Security, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security (IAEA) presented the initiative INSEN (International Nuclear Security Education Network) formed in March 2010 as a partnership between the IAEA, educational and research institutions and competent national authorities. This network aims to cover the globally increased interest in nuclear security through the education in nuclear security with textbooks, courses, joint research and student exchange programs as well as thesis evaluation coordination and improvement. The IAEA developed also a special website as “Nuclear Security Information Portal”. Mr. COLGAN stressed that education in nuclear security is important to meet the needs of the expanding nuclear markets, especially within the “nuclear newcomer” States, to provide a structure and basic educational materials for nuclear security education within established academic programs and help foster the new generation of security-aware nuclear scientists and professionals. Julia HARFENSTELLER and Henrike LANDRÉ, United Nations Studies Association (UNSA) presented the newly developed internet social community for UN practitioners and academics UNSAnet. This platform is open to everybody. It offers the possibility to become visible in the worldwide UN Studies Community to share papers, and teaching materials as well as to launch discussions and projects. Ludovico ALCORTA, Director, Research and Statistics Branch of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) elaborated the question how to mainstream UN themes. He stressed the importance of international networks to promote issues of global interest. Through education, exchange of individuals the dialogue between developing and developed countries can be reinforced. This discussion about new issues of global importance can raise the perception of UN themes. Miroslav POLZER, International Association of Innovative Approaches (IAAI) presented the global challenges world cup (GloCha) organized by the IAAI. One of the initiatives of GloCha is the Rio+20 Youth Music Contest: “Let the music talk!” which is a global competition for young people organized on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Earth Summit) to be held in June 2012 in Brazil. This opportunity encourages youth to express their hopes, concerns and thoughts on future of our earth through the resonance of music as a powerful expression that incites commitment for sustainable development. The winners will win a trip to Rio de Janeiro to attend the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012. Nikolai SOKOV, Senior Fellow, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) presented the efforts undertaken by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) which is a research center at Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in establishing nuclear security and nonproliferation studies. SOKOV described the mission of CNS as the combat against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by training the next
generation of WMD nonproliferation specialists and disseminating timely and accurate information and analysis. Therefore, the CNS provides a) Individual faculty training, b) Assistance with curriculum development, implementation, instructional materials and c) Train-the-trainer workshops in Russia, China and the USA. Janez PODOBNIK, International Center for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE), presented the ICPE activities as well as some concrete actions that ICPE carries out and plans for this year. He emphasized short term educational workshops, which are conducted in Slovenia and other ICPE member states and are focused on the field of public administration, budgeting and financial management and especially on "Crisis Management in the Public Sector." He also presented the MBA programmes, which are conducted by ICPE in collaboration with other institutions and activities, regarding organization of International conferences and other expert meetings. Prof. Christer JÖNSSON, Academic Council on the UN System (University Lund) emphasized the value of cooperation between academics and practitioners. International networks are needed to make such cooperation possible and arrange the eye-to-eye contact which is despite advanced communication technologies still of great importance. ACUNS as NGO is building since 25 years this bridge between the academic world and the UN system. Prof. Irmgard MARBOE (Law School University of Vienna) presented the international networking initiatives of the department. International networks such as the Vienna Summer School for international and Islamic law are very important to promote a international consciousness and help to avoid the “clash of civilization”. MARBOE is also an expert in international space law and promoted the idea of cooperation between UN agencies and academics to build up a network of space lawyers. Prof. Mihály SIMAI (Institute for World Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Corvinus University) served in various UN capacities for over three decades spoke about the importance of the connection between the UN agencies and the civil society. The information about the UN work is an absolute necessity to raise awareness of UN themes. The key to this connection is to special educate the youth through international networks. Prof. Zuzana LEHMANOVÁ (Head of Jan. Masaryk Centre of International Studies, University of Economics, Prague) informed about the usefulness of international networks especially for central and eastern Europe. LEHMANOVÁ emphasized that it would not be possible for young scholars from central and Eastern Europe to publish papers on UN themes and attend conferences without the support of international networks.